It is definitely house hunting season with open houses happening every weekend. As such, here are some tips to ensure you make the most of the opportunity.
Before you even leave your current place, Tim White of Century 21- Carole White Associates had a tip or two. Said White, "I would suggest checking online the morning of your open house tour to make sure the times have not been changed. Also, map out your course ahead of time so you are not wasting time trying to find the homes on the list. There are some great apps for to make this even easier, such as this one and the one we use."
Now here are more tips from Lisa Johnson Sevajian:
#1 - SIGN IN! Most people try to avoid giving a realtor their contact information because they are afraid they will be bothered by them later. The truth is, as professionals with busy schedules, most real estate agents don't have time to bother you, however they might let you know if there is a price change or an offer in on the property. This information will help you to either get a great deal or prevent you from losing the home of your dreams without a fight.
#2 - Explore all space inside and out. Many people have fallen in love with the interior of a home without checking out the yard. Sounds odd but it happens. If you care what about outdoor space or lack thereof, make sure you walk around the house. Also, take a minute to view the attic and basement and get to know the condition. These tours will tell you whether or not it's been appropriately cared for. You would be surprised how many people never enter a basement at an open house.
# 3 - Get copies of the listing sheets and any other information made available by the listing agent. This way you can confirm the details with public records later.
#4 - Be sure to ask if the seller is offering any incentives and whether or not any offers have been presented.
#5 - Most importantly take a minute to stand still in each room of the house and really think, "Does this space work for me?" Frequently buyers fall in love with the feeling they get from a home and say things like, "We can make this room work somehow." Just because the kitchen and bathrooms are amazing doesn't mean that you can make a family who needs four bedrooms fit into three comfortably.
#6 - Don't forget that the listing agent represents the seller's best interest and is there to represent protect their needs. A strong buyer's agent will work to protect you, so make sure you have one!
If you follow these easy tips, you can ensure you make the most out of an open house, which will save you time and aggravation later.